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AfricInvest and Bpifrance announced recently the launch of the French African Fund (FFA), the first cross-border investment fund dedicated to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in both Africa and France.

The fund will be managed by AfricInvest, a leading pan-African mid-cap-focused private equity firm with almost EUR1bn of funds under management and offices in six African countries as well as in France.

A pool of diverse investors have subscribed to the fund, all with the vision of accelerating the growth of African and French SMEs through development projects across the two continents. These investors include Bpifrance, two French private-sector groups—Société Générale and Orange, and Proparco (the AFD group). In addition, more than 25% of the fund’s subscription comes from African investors, including the Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale de Côte d’Ivoire (CNPS); the Moroccan insurance company Saham; the Moroccan industrial and financial group Financecom; the Central Bank of Kenya Pension Fund; private investors from Kenya and Nigeria, as well as AfricInvest itself.

The fund’s strategy is to invest in mid-cap companies with significant growth potential, using an entrepreneurial medium- to long-term approach to value creation. In addition to providing financial support, AfricInvest will accompany the French firms in their strategic development in Africa, and conversely, will assist African companies with their expansion into France and the European continent.

AfricInvest aims to support investee companies—through its experience, financing capabilities, extensive network and the expertise of its teams in France and Africa—in an effort to help them accelerate their growth and access new markets. It will also look to facilitate partnerships with the relevant commercial, financial, industrial and technological partners in each market.

The FFA will invest half of its capital in French SMEs looking towards Africa for growth opportunities. The investments will take the form of equity participation, generally through minority stakes. The other half of the fund’s capital will be invested in African SMEs with strong potential to grow into regional champions.

In addition to financial returns, the fund will focus on the impact of its investments on companies’ governance, transparency, employment creation and respect for social and environments values.

For Benjamin Paternot, Bpifrance’s Fund of Funds Executive Director, “The cornerstone of the strategy for the French African Fund—the first cross border fund between Africa and France—rests in AfricInvest’s ability to help French companies grow in Africa, and at the same time attract African companies to the French market. The quality of AfricInvest’s experience—through its diverse team based in France and across Africa—as the well as the development potential of the African continent, have together attracted the highest quality partners in the private sector both in France and in Africa.”

For Aziz Mebarek, one of AfricInvest’s founding partners, “AfricInvest looks forward to supporting the ambitions of the FFA through its diverse and multidisciplinary team, while bringing French and African entrepreneurs strong support to push their respective projects beyond the boundaries of their countries and continents.”

 

Kenneth Omeruo
Omeruo Ndukaku Kenneth is an Innovation Management expert,the CEO of Emerging Media,a new media company.He is a member of ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management and the US-Africa chamber of Commerce.He is the Founder of TechTrends Nigeria Blog,Nigeria Innovation Summit and the African Innovation Academy.Kenneth is a highly sought-after Internet Marketing Consultant who has through his seminars, articles, training and consulting, helped many organizations, Individuals, Businesses maximize the Internet for business purposes.Kenneth has also being featured as a guest on the TV show TODAY ON STV Nigeria and on Bloomberg Africa TV.He is the author of the best –selling Internet Book: How To Create Unlimited Internet Wealth. He is a syndicated columnist with the following Newspapers in Nigeria: Daily Independent, Financial Standard, PUNCH, BusinessDay, and Sun.Kenneth organises the EduNet Conference for Universities in Nigeria. Kenneth is a member of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria( ISPON ) Roundtable For Capacity Development in Nigeria,member pre-selection committee for Nigeria at the UN World Summit Awards,a Panelist for Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria(YouWIN)-a Federal government initiative created by the ministry of finance,supported by ministries of Communications Technology,Youth Development,Worldbank and DFID. A 2013 Judge at the Google Cloud Developers Challenge for Sub Saharan Africa.He has been a contributing editor of Nigeria Communications Week,Africa Telecom and IT Business Magazine,ICT Today magazine,M2 magazine.Kenneth has been invited to the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum, Oracle Open World Conference USA, Oracle Cloud World Dubai, and GITEX Dubai. He now lives in New York with his family and presently working on an Open Innovation project for Nigeria. You can contact Kenneth through email: (kenneth (at)techtrendsng.com) Facebook:www.facebook.com/Kenneth.omeruo On Twitter:www.twitter.com/kennethomeruo Skpe:Kenneth.Omeruo

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